Two days after losing in the third round at Wimbledon, Serena Williams was scheduled to play a doubles match with her sister Venus, but appeared to suffer some sort of breakdown before the match.
According to Wimbledon officials after the match, Serena was suffering from a "viral illness."
During warm-ups, something was wrong as Serena had a lot of trouble hitting balls and even looked uncoordinated trying to pick balls up.
She even had trouble tossing the ball up and was dropping balls during warm-ups.
According to ESPN commentator Chris Evert, she noticed that Serena was not well when she first came on to the court, saying Williams looked "wobbly." Evert also noted that Serena just did not look like she normally does for a match, pointing out that Williams wasn't wearing any eye makeup.
Serena went to the sideline where she was met by Wimbledon personnel. She appeared to start crying as her sister looked on.
ESPN commentator Pam Shriver said that it looked like Serena was "having a breakdown, both physically and emotionally."
After a 13-minute delay, the match started even though it seemed there was no way Serena could play.
Serena still looked out of it. But it wasn't until Serena's first serve in the third game when things got ugly. She couldn't toss the ball on her first serve.
At this point, Evert and Shriver were questioning why Serena was even out there. When she did finally hit the ball, it barely reached the net.
Shriver questioned whether Serena had taken something. "This is not an illness," Shriver said. "It's almost like she has taken something that makes her feel dizzy, disoriented, and she cannot reach up and strike the ball."
The chair umpire came out to talk to the sisters, looking very concerned.
He was convinced to let the match continue. But when that game was over, the sisters walked off hand in hand and withdrew from the match.
After the match, the ESPN commentators continued to question if Serena had taken something.
"It will be interesting," said Evert. "Is it a virus? Is it something unintentional or intentional in her system that they may drug test for?"
However, Wimbledon's official twitter account reported that the referee's office called it a "viral illness."July 1, 2014
Williams has had a rough week at Wimbledon. Not only did she lose early, but she seemed annoyed having to talk to the press at one point during a press conference saying " I’m really losing focus up here. I’m trying to figure out when this is going to end. What’s the next question?"
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- Chris Evert